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It’s not TV, it’s Apple TV

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

I posted a review of Apple TV on newsweek.com. Basically, I liked it, though I see it as step one in an evolving platform. Though Apple TV was unusual in that it was preannounced (but not unique, since iPhone is now on vaporware countdown as well), Apple is not preannouncing where it will take the unit.

A couple of things that I didn’t manage to get into my fairly lengthy review. What’s the deal with the mystery USB port? Apple explains its existence by saying it’s for diagnostic purposes. But Apple isn’t denying that at some point the port could be used for something else. External hard disk? Other devices? Quien sabe. Also, I had Apple set me straight on how one could get a home movie, made in iMovie, onto the Apple TV. It’s easy, but not obvious. You have to export it to the latest version of Quicktime, chooseing the Apple TV format, which is available only under the advanced settings option of the menu. Then save it to the desktop or somewhere, and from there import it into iTunes. I expect that soon a new version of iMovie will have a one-click “export to iTunes in Apple TV format” button like it does with iPod.

The most fun I had with Apple TV is shuffling songs. (Hey, there’s a shocker.) Since I sometimes put strange stuff in my iTunes library it can be frustrating when an unfamiliar song comes up and I have to fumble for the iPod in my pocket or bag to see what it is. With Apple TV it’s a glance away, and I like looking over and seeing the album cover in beautiful hi-def. And of course, it’s nice sometimes to listen to my digital tunes without those buds in my ear.

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